THE EFFECT OF LEADERSHIP STYLE UPON PERFORMANCE AND ADJUSTMENT IN VOLUNTEER TEAMS OPERATING IN A STRESSFUL FOREIGN ENVIRONMENT.
ILLINOIS UNIV URBANA GROUP EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH LAB
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This study considered the joint effects of leadership style and environmental stress upon group performance and individual adjustment in small volunteer groups. These groups performed public health and community development work in small isolated villages in Central America. Fiedlers Least Preferred Coworker scale LPC was used as a measure of leadership style while performance and adjustment measures were obtained from a number of questionnaires and rating scales. Results showed that the task-oriented, low LPC leaders were more effective in the favorable and very unfavorable situations, whereas the person-oriented high LPC leaders were more effective in situations of intermediate favorableness. In villages where the external stress was minimal, the task-oriented low LPC leaders had groups which were relatively better adjusted than groups having relationship-oriented high LPC leaders. However, in villages where external stress was high, this relationship between leadership style and group adjustment was reversed. Under conditions of high stress, relationship-oriented leaders had groups which were relatively better adjusted.